Acquired Rights Directive. First introduced in Europe in 1977. The original Directive was intended to safeguard the rights of workers by ensuring that workers were entitled to continue working for the transferee employer on the same terms and conditions as those agreed with the transferor employer. Whenever a transfer is within the Directive, contracts of employment run with the undertaking; the transferee cannot take the business without the employees and must take those employees subject to existing employment rights and obligations. Further, a transfer cannot constitute grounds for dismissal, whether carried out by the transferor or transferee, unless there is an economic, technical or organizational reason entailing changes in the workforce. ARD has been modified through the years to address specific circumstances.

Contributed by: Vivien Shrubsall, Professor of Law and Director of Centre for Legal Practice, University of Exeter